Temperatures climbed into the triple digits Tuesday as Sacramento firefighters battled a series of blazes along the American River Parkway and the Wragg fire flared up near Lake Berryessa, prompting evacuations.
Five fires – three of significance and two spot fires – were reported along the American River bike trail between 9:30 a.m. and about 3 p.m., said Roberto Padilla, spokesman for the Sacramento Fire Department. Tuesday afternoon, crews were battling two fires on the parkway, one near Canterbury Road and another about 2 miles away near Cadillac Drive.
Firefighters in both locations had to contend with thick vegetation, steep embankments and power lines that made the fire difficult to access. One firefighter was taken to a hospital suffering from exhaustion, Padilla said.
He said fire crews also found what appeared to be the body of a dog that had died in one of the two blazes. The animal was tied to a tree in a homeless camp along the parkway, Padilla said.
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The cause of the fires had not been determined.
In Napa and Solano counties, where the Wragg fire has been burning for nearly a week, a flare-up was reported at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, prompting mandatory evacuations of approximately 136 homes in the Mix Canyon, Sky Ranch Road and Blue Ridge Road areas. An evacuation advisory was issued for Gates Canyon Road and the area west of Pleasant Valley Road.
Robbie Richard, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the fire jumped the primary containment line on the fire’s south end but remained within a secondary containment line. By early Tuesday evening, 400 acres had burned in Wildhorse Canyon, Cal Fire reported. Richard said gusting north winds pushed embers over the south fire line in an area of rocky, rugged terrain. He said hand crews were flown into that area.
In the Sierra, where the Lowell fire in Nevada County, and the Kyburz fire in El Dorado County, are still being suppressed by legions of helmeted firefighters in flame-resistant jackets, temperatures are expected to peak around 100 degrees for each of the next few days.
The Lowell fire in Nevada County has destroyed 2,303 acres and was 40 percent contained as of 7 p.m. Tuesday. The fire, which began Saturday west of Alta, forced evacuations and threatened homes. Fire officials said Tuesday evening that lines on the north and south end of the fire were holding, but the next two days will be critical, with higher temperatures and lower humidity.
An evacuation warning was in effect for Red Dog and You Bet roads east of Greenhorn Creek, and for Chalk Bluff and Lowell Hill roads. An evacuation advisory was in place for the Cascade shores community.
Nevada County’s hottest day, according to the National Weather Service, is predicted to be Thursday, when the high could reach 99 degrees.
The Lowell fire was the third major fire to hit the region in the past week.
The Wragg fire started July 22 off Highway 128 and spread in Napa and Solano counties. As of Tuesday evening, the blaze had consumed 6,991 acres and was 80 percent contained. The
Napa County temperatures are expected to be in the 100s for the next three days.
The Kyburz blaze broke out Thursday afternoon along Highway 50. The Kyburz fire status was unchanged Tuesday morning and listed at 75 acres with 98 percent containment.
Mop-up of that blaze Tuesday was in sweltering conditions, with temperatures in the high 90s forecast for the week.